Cats cautious on Joel Selwood's AFL return

Geelong coach Chris Scott says skipper Joel Selwood is unlikely to play in the AFL blockbuster against West Coast.

Senior Coach CHRIS SCOTT.
Senior Coach CHRIS SCOTT. Picture: Adam Trafford/Getty Images

Geelong are set to be without Joel Selwood when they take on West Coast, with coach Chris Scott taking a cautious approach with his skipper's return from a hamstring injury.

Saturday night's much-anticipated clash at Optus Stadium will be the Cats' last in WA before they head to Queensland and is the first of four matches in 14 days.

Scott's men face North Melbourne at the Gabba on Wednesday night, with the punishing schedule the key driver behind Scott's thinking on his star midfielder's return.

"Joel might not like it but I think we're leaning on the conservative side," Scott said on Thursday.

"If the mistake is that he misses one game in the short term to play an extra one later in the season then I think that would be a good error to make.

"In a situation where we have a normal season with normal breaks then my suspicion would be that he would be available to play, but it's a lot more complicated this time.

"So we just need to take the extra 24 hours before we make that decision.

"If there was ever a time to be cautious, it's now."

Selwood was an early casualty in the round-seven loss to Collingwood, which was also star recruit Jack Steven's last AFL appearance.

Scott revealed the four-time St Kilda best-and-fairest winner will be missing again as he continues a carefully managed training program.

Tom Hawkins is free to take his place against the Eagles after the spearhead successfully challenged a one-match ban for striking Luke Ryan in Monday night's win over Fremantle.

Despite the success at the tribunal, Scott said he had spoken to Hawkins about his tendency to fall foul of the umpires for similar incidents in recent years.

"It doesn't guarantee that Tom's not going to do it (again) but he's certainly well aware of the situation," Scott said.

"There's stating the bleeding obvious and then there's a private conversation which I'm not going to elaborate on.

"I think if you speculated that he is disappointed you'd be pretty accurate."


AAP